From the roots up: Youth

The time of youth is the time for the beginning of a journey. We could very well ask the question: “Where are we supposed to be going?” The answer is that, as Christians, an unfading crown of glory (1 Peter 5v4), righteousness (2 Timothy 4v8) and life (James 1v12) is our goal. How do we get there? By running. By running with one purpose and looking only to the end goal, not the stones beneath our feet. We throw away EVERYTHING that entangles us: “Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12v1). This applies to every area of life.

Whoever we are, we must always start with the Bible. “How shall a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to thy word.” (Psalm 119v9). This means that even beyond the initial repentance process we still must keep coming back to the Bible. The Bible applies to every part of life. We ourselves should be running the race that is set before us for the crown ahead. This means getting rid of all our baggage.

We should be setting an example to others with our lives. Even though we are younger we should be stepping ahead of expectations. The only way that we can do this is by doing it in the strength of Christ. That means a RELATIONSHIP both ways. There must be a relationship between you and God and between you and those around you.

By Thomas van den Broek

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  1. Thanks for that, Thomas. A great reminder that our lives should be living in accordance with the Bible so that we may set a good example to others, and be drawn closer to our Lord. It's not always easy to remember that we are running a race and sometimes we can get our goals all wrong - I know sometimes I forget. How important it is to keep Jesus as our focus as we run the race of life, that we don't stray from the right track!
    By the way, you might remember that I came as a day visitor with my family to Rora House earlier this year - Laura introduced me to you and your brother Samuel. I didn't have the chance to tell you that I really enjoyed the debate that day, as we had to hurry home after the debate, and I thought you spoke really well. It was really interesting and I hope there is another debate again next year!

  2. Thomas, thanks for a great piece. I particularly loved your comment that "The Bible applies to every part of life." I think this is true given passages like 2 Timothy 3:16-17. One question though, how do you think we go about deciding how the Bible addresses those things that are not specifically mentioned in the Bible. How for example does it let us know whether it is right to watch a certain film or go to the theatre or even read blogs on the internet? I reckon coming up with a Biblical answer to this question, will not only show us how great and majestic Christ is (in that he has something good and wise to say on everything) BUT it will also help us to resolve many of the issues we Christian disciples divide over. Kip'

  3. Hi Rebekah. Yes I do remember you. Glad you enjoyed the debate, I do believe there will be another one next year. Thanks for commenting.

    Yeah, I agree with you. Thanks for reinforcing my point with that Bible verse!! If the Bible has something to say about everything, which it does, and yet does not mention that thing directly, which it doesn't in many cases, then the only thing we can do is appeal to a principle related to that subject to guide our thinking. To take your example; how do we know if a particular film is right to watch? Quite obviously the Bible does not speak specifically about this film. When we consider spending leisure time watching a film, we should be looking to principles that speak about how we should be spending leisure time. In this case such thoughts should be going through our minds as; is it true? Honourable? Just? Pure? Lovely? Commendable? etc.(Philipians 4v8)Thus letting Biblical principles guide our thinking on a particular subject.

    Not a quick answer, or very comprehensive for that matter, but at least tell me where I am wrong.

  4. Thanks for this Thomas - some great stuff.

    Just a quick question. Do you think that instead of 'getting rid of all our baggage' we should use it to learn and grow and then use our experience to help others as well? Phrased another way, should we just leave our sin behind us and forget because (praise God) Jesus has dealt with it or should we keep that sin in our mind's eye (all the while knowing that it has been dealt with) so we can look back and remind ourselves of what we've learnt?

    Not sure that really makes much sense - sorry if not.

  5. Ruth, I think I agree with you that we should be those who use the past to grow and mature into the disciples that God wants us to be (Col 1:28). In any case when we are in glory there is a sense in which we will remember the sins of this life but it will be a remembering that will lead us to praise and enjoy our perfect and gracious redeemeer more and more. In simple words our histories matter. God in His grace uses them to mature us and glorify Him. Kip'

  6. some excellent points Thomas!
    You are right, we should be setting a good example for others. Of course, many of our younger siblings and friends will be looking up to us and trying to do what we do, and will be picking up some of the bad things we do, not just the good examples!
    But perhaps in a day and age where there is great fear of becoming old, and people almost worship 'youth', we have a great responsibility to set them a good example too! It would be good if they saw that we as young people are 'looking forward to that blessed hope', rather than trying to cling onto our 'youthfullness.'

  7. David van den Broek5 November 2009 at 00:31

    Thomas you spoke about the importance of throwing away every weight, the sin that so easily entangles etc...

    This is something that I have been pondering recently, and I have begun to realise that the only place to start as I seek to make my life more pleasing in the eyes of my Saviour, is to cast away all of the foul, reeking rubbish that is getting in the way.

    I was listening to Vodie Baucham in the car yesterday (sorry can't remember which sermon) and one of the things that he says is that whenever we sin we break the first commandment -we are worshiping another god/gods or we are not worshiping God as we ought to be. Serious!

    I am so glad that He promises to carry on to completion the work that he has begun in me -else there would be no hope!

  8. Thanks for your comments guys.
    Ruth, Sorry that I did not qualify the statement that I made 'getting rid of all our baggage'. Yes I would agree with you that remembering our sins in some way is good as we can; 1. Give praise to Christ for getting us out of that sin. and 2. learn from our experience.

    What I do mean by 'baggage' is; that which hinders us in our pursuit of God, his glory and holiness. There are habits that we can fall into that are not helpful in any way and also sins which when not looked out for distract us from the pursuit of those things above (I speak from experience). It is these things (Pride and a whole host of others) that I refer to as baggage. However, as you say, that is not to be ignored, on the contrarary, it is to be fought and then we are to thank God for giving us victory when he does.

    David, amen. I am very glad I am a work in progress as well. Therefore we should plead with God daily, in prayer "Make me more like Christ".


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